TORONTO - Luis Scola doesn't just want to win with the Toronto Raptors.
The veteran power forward was introduced as the newest free agent signing by the Raptors on Monday and he pointed to Toronto's recent on-court success as a major influence in his decision. But he doesn't want to win an NBA title on his teammates backs — he wants to contribute to a championship team.
"I wanted to find a place where I could win and be a part of the team, be important," said Scola outside the Raptors' practice court at Air Canada Centre. "I was trying to get options to see how close to a ring I could get. But I was also trying to be part of the team, not just be on it, just because that team's going to be good but not play any role.
"Hopefully chase a ring at some point down the line, but also be part of it, be important on the team."
The 35 year old from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been consistent in his eight years in the NBA, starting in four of his five seasons with the Houston Rockets and his one season with the Phoenix Suns. Although he played backup for the Pacers the past two seasons, he still played an average of 18.8 minutes per game in Indiana.
Scola has averaged 12.7 points and seven rebounds per game in his NBA career.
"I believe pretty much everybody knows what I'm going to bring to the team," said Scola. "It's going to be along the lines of the things that I've been doing for the other teams in the past.
"I'm not going to get extremely better at 35, I'm not going to get extremely worse, I believe, at 35 either."
Although he'll be an elder statesman on the Raptors' bench, Scola feels his career is far from over.
"I don't think it's my last year," said Scola, who saw his minutes climb last year. "You never know. I don't think anybody, that is actually retired now, actually thought it was their last year when the last year came, so I don't know."
The six-foot-nine, 245-pound, Scola will be reunited with former Rockets teammates Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson, who he says have matured on and off the court since he played with them in Houston.
"With Kyle and Patrick I think we had a little thing going," said Scola. "It's fun to see them evolve the way they did in their careers and how they became great players. It's going to be fun being teammates with them again.
"Hopefully we can get a little something going here too."
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